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M11 or SL2 for photography major in art school?


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On 5/20/2022 at 10:56 PM, Silken said:

With the absence of an art school community, I can’t speak to that, but I have learned to take a picture through mostly just getting out and doing it. And now there’s YouTube! Hahaha

Art schools with a minimal focus on business are to be taken as only one piece of an education, and I really think most need to be more well rounded. I remember speaking at Hallmark institute, a dozen years ago when it still existed, and was flabbergasted to learn they had each student buy a car-priced digital medium format kit! A poor investment lesson and technically/creatively restrictive.

Hallmark had a particular mission as a school, and the tool suited that mission. I mean, I agree it wasn't the best strategy but the market did it's thing there. 

This isn't a question of "minimal focus" - it's a question of going broad or deep. All of the internet and youtube tutorials in the world can't teach an artist what they don't know - which is what the discursive environment of an arts program has, and that so far, still seems irreplaceable. A artists few break through and put in the years of work to self educate - but it's quite hard to get taken seriously by established institutions without a foundational knowledge about the art you're making and how it connects to the lineage of work that came before it. The internet has helped create a new generation of very visually literate students that can make a nice enough to look at picture almost without thinking but it hasn't helped much in their quest to place that work along culturally or historically relevant lines. A painter used to train for years and years - a BFA program is honestly too short for most serious artists, which is why they get an MFA - and even after that most are just really sorting out their themes and ideas. I am not against business courses but the idea that art must be a business alone is something that is not self evident. I know we all have to make a living, but there's no rule that says an artist can't practice outside of day job - which is honestly better for a lot because it doesn't bog down the mind with commerce, which tends to compromise the work. We all know the market usually wants what it knows and when it comes to art, that's usually boring stuff.  

This really gets down to an educational philosophy question. The earliest academies were founded on the idea of searching for knowledge - not learning a technical skill to get a job. Technical schools are great - but a technical school should not be conflated with what I'm talking about here which is a liberal arts university education that focuses on a particular artistic medium. 

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